The Uncertain World of Marijuana Advertising Part Two – Radio’s Digital Platforms

Contributors: Brad C. Deutsch, Principal, Garvey Schubert Barer, P.C. and Aaron S. Edelman, Attorney, Garvey Schubert Barer, P.C.

In our last blog, we addressed some risks associated with marijuana advertising that are unique to being the federal licensee of a radio station, impacting their broadcast activity. However, radio stations today have a presence on digital platforms – via web, smartphone or tablets. Therefore, in this post, we turn to digital media advertising.

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Radio on Main Street Podcast Featuring Kip Cassino, Executive Vice President of Borrell Associates.

Election day 2018 is about eight weeks away and while it is not a presidential election there are many state and local races that will be decided.

In this edition, Erica Farber, President and CEO of the RAB speaks with Kip Cassino, Executive Vice President of Borrell Associates. Borrell Associates recently updated their forecast for political media spending by media choice with their forecast for radio showing modest growth from their original April forecast.

With less than one-third of the 8.9 billion of political dollars yet to be spent this year, Kip shares his advice as to how radio can compete for a larger share of the available dollars and how important it is for radio to make the case that radio is local.

Local Radio Reigns Supreme

Earlier this month, the Los Angeles Times reported on the shuttering of a chain of Eastside community newspapers. One article even went so far as to say, “Local and regional newspapers that serve Southern California are going through tough times, leading some to question whether traditional newspapers can survive.” Radio has always been there – now it is even more valuable! The importance of local radio to the local community can’t be understated.

The challenge for local Newspapers has been how to sustain a newsroom and make a profit when print advertising is fleeing to lower-cost space on the Internet.  Most digital ads are concentrated on Facebook and Google, not newspaper websites. These two Internet giants take in 60 percent of online ad revenues.

Radio was shown as the most trusted platform used after the impact of hearing about “fake news” in political coverage.  See below for the Kantar “Trust in News” study where it was revealed ‘mainstream news media’s’ reputation remained largely intact while social media and digital-only news platforms sustained major reputation damage. In addition, Facebook and other digital platforms are not designed to promote civic connection, but rather communities of interest often unmoored from particular geographies.

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Digital Integration Pays Big Dividends For Radio

“Digital has been integrated into all facets of broadcast radio’s offering both in programming and sales, and the results are definitely paying off,” stated Erica Farber, President and CEO, RAB.  “As radio continues to provide integrated marketing solutions to its advertisers we expect to see continued growth.”

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Radio: Consumers’ Weekly Leader


2018 is now in full swing, and with so many retrospective articles across publications it is also a great time to take a new look at media comparisons. 2017 seemed to be the year for digital and social media as seen in so many articles.

However, figures in other research publications and newsletters painted a very different image.

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2017 – It’s Been An Incredible Year

It’s incredible to believe that 2017 is coming to a close.  The year just seemed to fly by.

There were so many events that took place around the world this past year and many of these events left a mark in the world of pop culture.  Similar to events that shaped pop culture, there were events that shaped and influenced how radio is perceived. Continue reading “2017 – It’s Been An Incredible Year”